Mediterranean Rice Salad

Mediterranean Rice Salad in a round green glass bowl with a sprig of basil in the middle

5 from 2 reviews

A rice salad with fresh spring vegetables, Pecorino cheese and lemony dressing. A great spring and summer side dish.

Adapted from Michael Chiarello’s Insalata di Riso recipe



For the Vinaigrette:

For The Veggies:

Remaining Ingredients:


  1. Put the rice in a saucepan with 6 cups of cold water and one teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Check the rice for doneness starting at 12 minutes. The rice should be tender but not mushy. Drain the rice in a colander, run cool water over it to stop the cooking and to rinse away excess starch. Let the rice drain well. (Can be done up to a day ahead. Store cooled rice in an airtight bag or container in the fridge. Bring to room temp before using)
  2. To make the vinaigrette, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking, until emulsified. (Vinaigrette Can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temp before using)
  3. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a medium pot of water, with 1 teaspoon of salt, to a boil. Add asparagus and peas. Cook for 2 minutes or so, until the vegetables are bright green and crisp-tender. Immediately drain and plunge the veggies into the ice water. When cool, drain well.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the leeks and radicchio, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and cool for 10 minutes or so.
  5. In a large bowl combine the rice, asparagus, peas, leeks and radicchio, basil, cheese and lemon vinaigrette. Correct the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, to taste.


Keywords: rice salad with vegetables and pecorino cheese